Housing for homeless families coming to San Leandro

Development by Abode Communities also to serve low-income residents in East Bay

Abode's Holly Benson with rendering Washington Avenue Apartments (Housing California, Abode Communities)
Abode's Holly Benson with rendering Washington Avenue Apartments (Housing California, Abode Communities)

A nonprofit organization has acquired over an acre of land in San Leandro and is looking to provide rentals for the working poor and homeless.

Plans by Los Angeles-based Abode Communities call for 72 apartments on the 1.2 acre parcel at Washington Avenue and Beatrice Street in the East Bay municipality.

Most of the units will be available to tenants with incomes ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for a one-person household, and from $28,560 – $71,400 for a four-person household. 22 of the units will be set aside for homeless families.

Abode Communities got $3.5 million from the Golden State Acquisition Fund to acquire the land for the project.

The State of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development established the Golden State Acquisition Fund with $23 million, using money raised by Proposition 1C, also known as the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act. The fund’s contributions to projects are used to leverage additional capital from seven community development financial institutions.

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Abode Community also got $2 million of funding from the City of San Leandro for the project, where prospective tenants experiencing homelessness will have the opportunity to get rental vouchers if needed.

The location is ideal for resource-strapped tenants, said Holly Benson, president of Abode Communities.

“There’s nearby school, shopping, and bus transit so it’s really ideal for the folks we plan to serve,” she said.

Local governments and state officials throughout the Bay Area are taking or considering moves to aid developers of affordable units. San Francisco Mayor London Breed has proposed doing away with some requirements needed to build affordable housing. State Senator Scott Wiener proposed legislation to allow religious organizations to circumvent rezoning laws to build units on sites they own.

Some examples of other affordable housing projects in the East Bay are the Oakland city council approving the redevelopment of two affordable housing apartments near Lake Merritt in Oakland, and the site of a former soccer stadium in Concord to be transformed into affordable housing units.

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